Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Things you don't expect

How about a water leak when it isn't raining?  And no, a pipe didn't burst.

Apparently some time back - no one is sure how long ago, but probably back in mid-December before we left on vacation - one of us left a hose valve just slightly open.  The water dripped out once every couple of seconds.  Normally this would not be a problem, but we live in a house with a flat roof.  An 18 year old flat roof with a deck over it.

Well, apparently the part of that roof right against the house where the hose was dripping slopes the wrong way.  Water had pooled up against the house there over the years and rusted through the steel roofing.  That rust may have been exacerbated by nails driven through the wall just above the roof line, into something vaguely like but not really flashing.

Anyway, the water runs into the house there, drips down through the ceiling and into the guest bedroom.  But it's not really that simple.  The entire house is shear-sheeted with plywood - on the inside even - so that soaks up and holds a TON of water before it drips down onto the drywall.

We discover the mess in the guest bedroom a week after getting home.  I got some advice from friends and tore out a lot of water soaked sheet rock.  Now we run fans in that room all the time trying to dry it out (which is working) and I've opened up the deck and put a bunch of goo into the area of the leak which I hope will prevent additional water intrusion.

What a mess.  I have a garage full of busted up drywall and muck to haul to the dump and need to give everything a long time to dry out before we close it back up.  Fortunately we have little or no mold in there, which is good.

Oh, and I did note dry water stains on the back of some of the drywall as I pulled it out.  That means there was previous leakage that we never saw.  This could have gone on for years.

I guess this summer we get a new roof/deck.  What fun.